The Do’s and Don’ts for an interview

It’s hard to believe it’s already mid-summer and the kids will be back to school in only a few weeks. In prior years, summer was usually a slower time for the job market, but that was definitely not the case this year! It remained hot and from my perspective will continue through the remainder of the year and hopefully well beyond! What does that mean to you? Keep up on your networking and keep your options open to new opportunities because there are tons out there. You never know when the perfect job will come your way!

Say the perfect job knocks on your door and you haven’t interviewed in years. Let’s talk about some very basic Do’s and Don’ts for an interview:

Do: Do your research on the company and on who you’re interviewing with. If the person is not on the company’s website, then search them on LinkedIn. It’s important to know their background.
Don’t: Don’t come to the interview unprepared! There are too many options to do research.

Do: Come to the interview “dressed for success”. Women – wear a business suit (slack suits or skirt suits are fine) and a conservative blouse. Error on the side of being too conservative is usually safer. Tone down your jewelry as well. You aren’t going to a fashion show and you want the potential employer to see and listen to you and not be distracted by your jewelry. Men – same as the women and wear a suit! Most occasions also warrant a tie but there are some exceptions.
Don’t: Come to the interview in jeans just because it’s “Jeans Friday” at your current employer and your interview happens to land on a Friday. Factor in time to change between leaving work and getting to your interview. However, with all that said and emphasized, you also have to consider what company/job you are applying for. In some cases, casual attire might be more appropriate. For example, some of the popular high-tech companies are more casual. I would never suggest walking in wearing jeans, but slacks and a blouse/shirt might be more appropriate without a tie in some cases. When in doubt, ask your recruiter.

Do: Plan on arriving 10 minutes early.
Don’t: Don’t arrive earlier than that. If you are early, wait in your car. Announcing yourself to the receptionist too early might actually annoy the potential employer as they will now feel rushed to greet you if they aren’t actually ready for you.

Do: Be genuinely interested in the company and the role.
Don’t: Don’t act desperate because you need a job and any job will do. The employer will see right through that. They want someone that is interested in their job and company.

Do: Come prepared with good and pertinent questions.
Don’t: Don’t ask questions that can be easily found on their website. Obviously, but worth bringing up, don’t ask about salary or benefits during the first interview.

Do: Act professional of course during your interview.
Don’t: Don’t be afraid to smile and show your personality. Sometimes people put their “professional face” on too much and afraid to smile. Remember, if you are being invited for an interview, they feel you have the qualifications on paper, so they are really seeing if you have the right personality to fit in with the group.

Do: Follow up with a thank you email within 24 hours. Although handwritten notes are nice, snail mail just doesn’t cut it these days.
Don’t: Don’t send an email with any typographical or grammatical errors. It doesn’t matter what role you are interviewing for, there is no excuse. We’ve seen jobs lost due to errors on thank you notes.

Do: If after rounds of interviews, you are offered the job, evaluate all aspects of the package. Be sure to consider the base salary, any bonus potential, benefits, etc.
Don’t: Don’t forget to consider the overall opportunity and growth potential. I’ve seen candidates pass on an opportunity over $1K difference when the new employer would have given them a tremendous amount of growth opportunities in the future. Don’t get too “pigeon-holed” in only the “base salary” offer.

Do: Work with a recruiter! It will help in your job searching efforts. Rather than sending your resume in blindly to an ad, we send your resume on a silver platter directly to the source.

Don’t: Don’t be afraid to take our calls and listen to new opportunities. As mentioned earlier, you never know when the perfect job opportunity will come knocking!

Enjoy the rest of your summer and happy interviewing. For more interviewing tips, please call or email us directly.